If you’re a landlord, you know that managing rental properties is more than just collecting the rent. You have to think about finding the right tenant, dealing with maintenance issues, complying with the law, and so much more.
Managing properties gets very complicated, very quickly. If you manage multiple properties, you know how the complications can multiply.
A full-service property management company can substantially reduce the time you spend thinking about mundane tasks like rent collection, maintenance requests, and finding new tenants. The property manager automates many of these tasks, allowing you to focus on what you care about the most — your job, your family, even purchasing more rental properties.
Understanding state laws, codes, and compliance issues is one of the most complex areas of owning rental properties. A professional property management company has set procedures and manuals to ensure you’re in compliance with the law — so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Property managers also understand the issues surrounding taxes, fair-housing and anti-discrimination laws, and eviction procedures. Companies can address these concerns by leveraging their collective knowledge to deal with these various issues and provide you with the information you need to file your taxes — or even evict a troublesome resident.
Finding The Most Qualified Tenants
I have been managing properties and overlooking operations for a San Diego property management company for 13 years now. I can tell you from experience that vetting residents is one of the most important and time-consuming activities you will undertake as a property owner. Finding reliable tenants can mean the difference between making money or losing money on your investment property.
Reliable property management companies have time-tested procedures to screen out the troublemaker residents from the ideal tenants, while complying to all the laws and regulations previously mentioned. A property management company knows how to handle tenant screening to find residents for your property.
How do you find those qualified tenants? It all comes down to marketing your rental.
To begin, invest a little into the presentation of your property. This extends beyond just cleaning your property into identifying the character of the neighborhood, understanding the type of residents who come to that neighborhood, and what they want in a rental. For example, when we’re working with properties downtown, we know people renting want easy access to their job, a parking space, and information about public transit to get around San Diego. The more you can talk up the nightlife and things to do, the more valuable your apartment building becomes.
Similarly, renters in more residential areas like South Park, Bankers Hill, and North Park here in San Diego are more likely to be interested in settling down. These neighborhoods are populated by single-family homes, parks, and other family-friendly activities. An experienced property manager can leverage this information to secure residents in a timely manner for you.
Day-To-Day Property Management
You will note a common theme in these sections. Property management companies come with a library of knowledge and experience that they can leverage into all aspects of day-to-day operations.
The right property management company will have set procedures on when to conduct safety checks, maintenance, and other scheduled inspections and affairs. Most managers will also have a set system for responding to resident concerns, securing a handyman, and collecting rent.
Developing these processes can be extremely time consuming as an owner. You’d need to understand, first, the basic dos and don’ts of tenants rights, and then find the right paperwork or vendors to help you with each stage of move-in or move-out. When things go wrong, it can be quite expensive to find the right people to help at the drop of a hat. Property management companies work with specific vendors across all their properties. Typically this means that they can negotiate better rates than just one property alone can get.
Value for Price
Most property management companies will charge between five to ten percent of the rent. If you only have a few properties, these rates are far cheaper than hiring your own managers.
The management company handles all of the costs associated with managing a team and provides you with the benefits of having an experienced staff. Moreover, property management companies can leverage economies of scale which enable them to retain an experienced, professional team who will provide the best possible service to you and your tenants.
Finally, property management companies are invaluable if you don’t live near your property. One of the biggest issues confronted by property owners is the ability to move.
Maybe you have a new opportunity or want to change locations. If you’re handling the day-to-day services for your rental property, your options are limited — unless you want to sell.
A full-service property management company removes some of these worries by handling your rentals on your behalf. If you are the primary point-of-contact, you need to be available to work with your residents.
However, a property management company can free you up to move wherever you want (or even purchase properties wherever you want) because the company can collect the rent, maintain the properties, and every other aspect of day-to-day management. Hiring a company to manage your properties is not only convenient but also a great choice for property owners looking to increase their portfolio without having to get tied down. Investing in the right property management company can pay off.
About Micki O’Toole:
Micki is the general manager of PropertyADVANTAGE, a San Diego property management company that specializes in single-family homes and HOA management. They provide comprehensive, full-service packages as well as tenant placement to property owners and communities in San Diego and Riverside counties. Get in touch at [email protected].